on March 24th 2015
"You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he's on the run--but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.
**This may contain spoilers for Half Bad, at least some minor ones, so proceed with caution**
I never did a full review of Half Bad. I read, felt moderately apathetic about it, and threw it into a batch of “Books I’m Never Reviewing”, and called it a day, much to the chagrin of basically everyone. When I won a copy of Half Wild, I felt a bit guilty, because I knew there were some readers who were dying to read it, more than I was especially after lukewarm feelings about Half Bad.
So I went into it with apprehension. And I came out of it flailing and screaming and needing the next one. Luckily, Kirsty-Marie @ Studio Reads was available for Goodreads flails and joint hatred of a particular character, so things were okay. I mean, as okay as they can be until the last book shows up.
But, the whole book wasn’t a home run for me, and I will explain it by breaking it into thirds:
The First 1/3
Well, to be honest, this part was quite similar to the last book for me. And since I didn’t love the last book, well, I was worried. I was bored of Nathan and his witchery. I was over his dumb father, and all these witches being proverbial witches as much as literal witches, and basically, I wasn’t thinking I would like this. Also, I hate Annalise.
And Nathan was so concerned about finding her! I thought she ought to remain lost, frankly, but Nathan simply wasn’t listening to me. And he was being extra irritating about finding her. Every other line seemed to be (and this is paraphrased) But what about Annalise? or We must find Annalise! or If someone doesn’t take me to Annalise, my face will melt off! (That last one was probably an exaggeration…)
So between Annalise, and my general lack of interest, I was afraid this wouldn’t be going well. But then…
The Second 1/3
Things picked up! I really started to care more about the characters, my ship was firmly decided, and I was really getting invested in the story as a whole. Nathan was really struggling with his newfound powers, and it was really great to finally develop a connection with him. There were new characters introduced, who while not vital, definitely interested me. All kinds of witch politics and plotting were afoot, and I was pretty curious to see what would happen! Of course, Annalise was still there. No one was listening to my pleas that she needed to leave.
The Last 1/3
Well, this is where I got hooked for good. There is some insane action happening, along with some really great character and relationship development. Obviously I am not going to say much about the last third of the book, because that is mean. But by the end, I was pretty much just flailing about, ranting about how I simply cannot be expected to wait until 2016.
More things I liked:
- The cover of this ARC said UnAmericanized Proof. Well, good! If I am reading about a bunch of people in England, give me a bunch of people in England! I approve!
- We get a lot more Marcus insight. This is nice, because in Half Bad, he was kind of just this elusive myth, and in this book, he is an actual person (witch?).
- Gabriel. All the Gabriel. Someone give me a whole book called Half Gabriel, but really it is just All Gabriel. I adore him. You can clearly see my ship preference, and why I hated Annalise more and more as time went on.
- The action parts were really well done. I am usually iffy with action sequences. Sometimes I love them, and sometimes I am really overwhelmed, but I thought they were done perfectly in this book, and I was fully engaged.
I did not like:
- Annalise. Fine, I am beating a dead horse here, but she is boring, and dull, and useless, and those are her good qualities.
Bottom Line: If you liked Half Bad, I quite assume you will enjoy Half Wild. If, like me, you were a bit underwhelmed by Half Bad, still give this a chance! It really surprised me. The story grew, the characters grew, the plot grew… it was definitely an incredible sequel!